Thursday, 3 December 2009

Review: Chrysalis: The Awakening

Today's book is one that I had not heard of before. And yet I was pleasantly surprised. I read, and enjoyed, "Chrysalis: The Awakening" by M.L. Lacy. If you haven't heard of it before, here is the blurb:

All families have secrets. But at 32 years old, Bree Campbell is discovering that her entire life has been a secret. Like most people, it never occurred to her to question her mortality; that is until she learns that she is a mortal born into a family of Magicals and begins to question everything and everyone in her life.

As the doors to Bree's new world fly open and she finally hears the prophecy told at her birth she must face the revelation that she is a Chosen Ones. And if this were not overwhelming enough, she has been charged with saving the earth by repairing the cosmic tear that binds the mortal world she has always known and the Magical world she is just now discovering.

Bree's journey will not be an easy one. She must face the realities of her new life and her new family; a clan of vampires who have been charged with protecting her for all of her mortal life. They have chosen her as a leader in their clan, a position that has really complicated things for her. For no sooner than Bree is finally reunited with her long lost love, Steven, Bree must learn how to navigate the jealousies and emotions within her new family.

Bree's arch nemesis is Esmerelda, a powerful sorceress in her own right who will stop at nothing until the Chosen One is dead. If Esmeralda can claim Bree's blood, heart and soul and restore her Demon to his body, she will be so strong that none will be able to oppose her and she will be free to rid the world of all mortals and rule as she chooses.

But with the help of the Guardians and her dreams, Bree begins to awaken the powers hidden within her and begins to embrace the responsibility she has been born to. And even while these changes make her body weak, Bree begins to find an inner strength she never knew she had within herself. Will it be enough to save the world?

Well that was a long blurb! I really think it should have been cut down. But on to the real review...

I loved this book, and I'll tell you why. I loved the strong female protagonist, the mix of magic, a prophecy, love, Magicals, vampires, elves, giants, gnomes and werewolves. Although these are all mentioned, not all appear but there are references to them.

The main character is Aubrey or as she is known to her friends, Bree. I liked Bree. She had dealt with the harsh realities of her life with acceptance, but when she found out who she was, or who she was going to become, she vowed that no one would ever take her choice away from her anymore. I also loved how confident she was in the way she spoke to people. Bree always seemed to know what to say, which is down to Odessa, who is guiding her inside her mind. Bree is a Chosen One, but she never knew through her childhood and when she saw strange things, she thought she was insane.

There are a lot of characters in this book. Although I never found it that hard to keep up with who everyone else was. The characters were quite distinct. Each seemed to be entranced by Bree. Well, that is apart from those who want her dead. Her existence seems to peeve some people off. There are many who would like to see her dead.

The plot itself is excellent. I loved every part of it. And I will warn everyone right now, there is a lot of sex in this book. But none of it is really that graphic. I enjoyed reading every part of this book. It was longer than I expected it to be. It comprises of 41 chapters, 589 pages. That's why it took me a while to read. But I love long books so it didn't bother me. This really was a great book with an intricate plot. I really want to know what happens to Bree in the next book. M.L. Lacy has created a superb book.


Monday, 30 November 2009

Review: Monkey Taming

Sorry this is a day later than originally planned. I ended up sleeping in on Sunday and only just completing my homework in time. Today's review is of the book "Monkey Taming" by Judith Fathallah. Here is the blurb:

When Jessica was thirteen years old, she met the Monkey.

The Monkey lived inside her: a driving, fiery voice telling her than thinness was the only way to be safe, to be acceptable and, above all, to escape from the looming threat of approaching adulthood. Jessica listened to the Monkey, and it consumed her.

Through memory, reflection and enduring black humour, this is the illuminating story of a teenage girl's wanderings in darkness: the spiral down into madness, the terrible realities of an adolescent psychiatric unit, and the final stark choice - either tame her monkey or die.

I picked up this book from the library when I saw it on sale. It was 10p (can't beat a library sale) and the cover initially intrigued me.

The main character in this book is Jessica, a thirteen year old anorexic girl. She wasn't always anorexic but she convinced herself that if she was slimmer, everything would be better. Jessica thought she was fat and was determined to lose weight. But then she started hearing the Monkey, a voice in her head, and it became an obsession. Jessica was struggling with emotions before she started her starvation regime. And everytime she wanted to get better, for other people rather than herself, the Monkey won.

Jessica's mother is also quite a big influence on Jessica. She used to be slim herself and initially encouraged Jessica to lose weight. I don't think she is mean at all when she said that Jessica should start doing something about getting slim rather than keep going on about it. No one really knows what impact their words will have. She also supports Jessica and tries to get her the help that she needs.

The plot of this story follows Jessica's downward spiral in to anorexia and the obsession food became with her. I don't feel I'm ruining the story for you by typing this next bit as it's in the blurb, Jessica is admitted to an adolescent psychiatric ward. Just reading about the ward I knew why Jessica hated it. Some people there cared about those who were admitted whilst others just seemed to be cruel and vindictive, particularly a woman nicknamed Eleanor the Troll. Eleanor seemed to think that Jessica could just decide to eat again, when in reality, it's not that simple. Hearing about others who had been admitted i.e. other anorexics and one girl called Bethany who was a self harmer, I felt that it was so sad these people weren't receiving the help they needed. The amount of anger Jessica has at the psychiatric ward and their unfair treatment sucks in the reader to agreeing with them. I felt that the emotions that were conveyed were so strong that it must have come from Judith Fathallah's own experience in a psychiatric ward and suffering from anorexia. It was truly powerful writing.

This book was impossible to put down. It really was. I read this book about 3-4 months ago and I still remember it. It is a book that will linger in your mind. I really recommend you read it.

And a really powerful paragraph from the book can be found here.

5 out of 5 stars.

(I'm currently thinking of changing my rating system, so it'll be out of five stars for the time being).

Saturday, 28 November 2009


I know it isn't Teaser Tuesday. But I'm going to give you a paragraph from a book called "Monkey Taming" by Judith Fathallah. My review for this book will be up tomorrow. I thought this paragraph was so beautifully crafted and carried so much meaning that I knew it had to be shared.

"Ten per cent of anorexics die. There is no getting around that, no returning from it, no use in its denial. Mental illness can be fatal, and the degeneration of a once bright, happy person is no easier to watch than death by cancer. So don't invite it. Because there is a time (for me, about October) when you know it isn't normal any more, but you encourage it for kicks and in hope of thinness. It's the hate-love of the matador for the bull. But it isn't a bull, it's a monkey, and monkeys swing and jump and run and trick you from behind. Then one day they have you by the throat with long, strong, clawing fingers, and you cannot get free any more."

Friday, 27 November 2009

Review: Dancing with Ana

First and foremost, I just want to say how pretty Dancing with Ana looked when it arrived. I don't know if the author personally sends out the copies but it was packaged really nicely (had its own plastic wallet). And the letter was printed on that posh paper (there's probably a name for it but I don't know it).

Dancing with Ana is written by Nicole Barker and if you don't know what it's about, here is the blurb:

Beth is a lucky girl... She comes from a loving family. She has three best friends. She loves to surf and lives five minutes from the beach. She also recently discovered that the boy she's grown up with has the most amazing green eyes... Beth has every reason to smile. Every reason to be happy. Every reason to feel blessed.

Then why is she sticking her fingers down her throat?

There is no girl called Ana in this story and I didn't really expect there to be. When I read the title I thought of anorexia nervosa. Some people with eating disorders shorten or, in my opinion, humanise their demons by giving them a name. Ana can be short for anorexia nervosa whilst Mia can be short for bulimia nervosa. Upon reading the blurb, I thought this book would be much darker than it actually is. It definitely touches upon anorexia nervosa but I felt that there was something it lacked. I can't put my finger on it though. By all rights it was a good read. I think that it may also have something to do with the length of the book. Granted, it was 170 pages but the font was relatively large compared to most books I've read.

I liked the characters in this book. Jeremy, Beth's best friend (or is he something more?), cares about Beth. He notices the change in her and tries to stop her on her ultimately destructive path. As do Beth's friend's, Jenny, Melanie and Rachel. They all agreed to diet but stop when they've reached their target weight, which is in the healthy range. Beth doesn't. I particularly liked Rachel. She had her own problems going on in the story but still found the courage to fight back.

I didn't really understand Beth's path in the story but then again, I don't think you really can unless you've been down that path yourself. It started off as a diet and then spiralled out of control. She was determined to exercise self-control to the point where I don't think she even knew why she was doing it anymore. One of the reasons that is hinted at is the pain from when her father left. But it was many years ago and it is only mentioned a few times and then largely at the end of the book. I think this is the something I didn't like about the book. I didn't think it was believable that she would suddenly do it because she was dealing with her father's abandonment years after it had happened. I'm not saying it couldn't happen, I'm just saying I didn't find it believable.

The plot itself is interesting. I wanted to know what what would happen to Beth. Would she be able to overcome her obsession with food? Would her friends notice how much the "diet" meant to her? There's a scene where Beth collapses because her body just can't take it. But a more poignant scene is the first time Beth gives in to eating when she isn't meant to. She feels she has to make herself sick to get rid of it. The words afterwards describes some of the horrors of what she has just done, "Her belly felt empty again, but her throat felt raw. So raw."

Did this book keep me reading? In a word: yes. Even though I read this during the read-a-thon, I wanted to keep reading. I needed to know how Beth would turn out. Would Jeremy be able to help her? Would her mother or brother notice? There were so many questions I wanted answered. But the one question I don't think was answered was simply, why?

I would recommend this book, contrary to my rather mixed review. I would just advise you that it focuses more on one girl's journey with anorexia than the reasons behind it.


Reviews Coming Soon to a Blog Near You.... (Or err, this one)

I was off of school today (ill) so I thought I'd catch up on reviews. I've got one coming tonight. And I've prescheduled reviews over the following days. I ouldn't be totally unproductive today.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Review: Fallen

As promised, here is my review of Fallen which is written by Lauren Kate. Fallen was the first book I read as part of the read-a-thon. It's taken a long time to get this review up! Here is the blurb:

Daniel's gaze caught hers, and her breath caught in her throat. She recognized him from somewhere. But she would have remembered meeting someone like him. She would have remembered feeling as absolutely shaken up as she did right now.

But what do you do when the person you've spent your whole life looking forkeeps slipping out of your grasp? What if the person you are meant to be with can never be yours?

Dangerously addictive and darkly romantic, FALLEN is the ultimate gothic love story - a page turning thriller about fallen angels.

I. Loved. This. Book.

You can't comprehend my love of this book! I just... argh... what I mean to say is, I am sorely tempted to re-read this book. And I shall be getting it as a present for my friend for Christmas. It is also exactly a month until the release of Fallen in shops!

Characters? The main character is a girl called Luce. She is a very likeable character who has been sent to Sword & Cross by her parents. Sword & Cross seems to be a school for those who have had, or caused, bad things to happen. It's like a reform school. Luce was sent there after the night of the fire, but I won't say anymore than that. You'll have to read the book to find out what happened that night.

Cam is a good looking, sweet guy. He takes an interest in Luce and is always looking out for Luce. Unfortunately, everytime Luce wants to have a proper conversation and get to know Cam, she is interrupted by Gabbe, a blonde girl who Luce can't help but take a bit of a dislike too.

The other main male character is Daniel. He is "sublimely gorgeous". And Luce feels like she knows him, even when she believes she would remember someone like him. But any attempts to get to know Daniel are shunned by his outward attempts at distancing himself from her. So why does Luce feel drawn to Daniel if he clearly doesn't want to get to know her?

The plot of this book is amazing, I never would have guessed the truth of what was happening! It had me hooked until the end and I had to take a minute at the end of reading this (during the readathon) to just smile and remember how great the book was - and maybe some squealing and yearning for the next book Torment.

The ending? I'm sorry but if you choose to buy this book and read to the end, you will be left in suspense for the next book, Torment.

Overall, this book was superb! I loved, loved, loved, loved, loved it! And I'm buying it as a present for my friend for Christmas!

Characters - 10/10 (and I've worked out that I'm not a good judge of character)

Plot - 10/10 -but I'd give it more if I could-

Hookability (ability to keep you reading) - 10/10

Yup, that's full marks - 30/30
I really did love it =)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Oh Dear

That blog everyday until Christmas didn't go well. Oops. And the annoying thing is I have half of some reviews written for posts. I'm back at school this week. What's been happening with me recently?

On Sunday I was in a dance show at some theatre whose name escapes me! It was really fun (and scary)! I was in two dances. One was a street jazz dance. The other was contemporary. It was nerve racking but I enjoyed it =)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Discussion Thursday

I only do "Discussion Thursday" occasionally beacause I don't always have questions. Today's questions are ones that I'm sure have been asked before but I'm interested to read your answers.

Where do you get the majority of your books?
I get mine from bookshops (mainly Watersone's). I also go occasionally to the library but it is never really that current. I also buy books from the library sale (10p per teenage fiction - bargain!). I don't use BookMooch or PaperbackSwap (I think that's the name?). I also buy books from charity shops - you never know what hidden treasures you'll find.

For those of you who use BookMooch or PaperbackSwap, what do you think of it?

And if you get books from a source other than those I've mentioned please feel free to add it in your comments.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill of Breaking the Spine.
I'm going to share with you only one book this week =)
Today's Book is "The Thirteen Curses" which is the follow on book from "The Thirteen Treasures", written by Michelle Harrison. Here is the blurb:

The Thirteen Treasures have become the Thirteen Curses.

When fairies stole her brother, Red vowed to get him back. Now trapped in the fairy realm, she begs an audience with the fairy court where she strikes a bargain. Her brother will be returned - but only if she can find the thirteen charms of Tanya's bracelet that have been scattered in the human world. Returning to Elvesden Manor, Red is assisted by Tanya and Fabian and a desperate hunt begins. Soon they make a shocking discovery. The charms now have twisted qualities of the thirteen treasures they represent... and the longer they are missing the worse the consequences will be.

Can Red, Tanya and Fabian find all the charms? And even if they do, will the fairies keep their promise?

I loved "The Thirteen Treasures" so I'm excited to read this. According to Simon & Schuster UK it is released in January 2010. Bring on January!
What books did everyone else pick for WoW?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Today's teaser comes from Fallen. It's from page
"There were no monsters, her parents assured her, but Luce's repeated insistence on the presence of something wobbly and dark had gotten her several appointments with the family eye doctor, and then glasses, and then appointments with the ear doctor when she made the mistake of describing the hoarse whooshing noise that the shadows sometimes made - and then therapy, and the more therapy, and finally the prescription for antipsychotic medication.

But nothing ever made them go away."

So what teasers does everyone else have?

Monday, 26 October 2009

Reviews Up Tomorrow

Sorry a review wasn't up today, I'm working on my new schedule (I'm back to work =D)! Yay!
Bit hopefilly my review of Fallen should be up tomorrow. I'm going to work on getting the Read-a-Thon reviews up one day at a time. Adios!

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Big Box Challenge: Something Like Fate

This is a separate contest to my last post. The idea of this contest was to produce our own cover for the book, Something Like Fate. The link for this is still the same, it's just Option 3. Check out Cindy's blog, you know you want to =)

This is my cover:

Big Box Challenge

For those of you who don't know Princess Bookie aka Cindy has been hosting a heap load of competitions. I chose to make my remake of the cover for Sleepless by Thomas Fahy. This is the original:

And this is my version:

I apologise for the picture quality (I don't know how to make it any better but when it is enlarged it looks awful). It says Sleepless at the top, the author's name at the very bottom. And in the middle it says, "Sometimes it's just too dangerous for you to go to sleep..."

Here is the link to Princess Bookie's "Big Box Challenge".

Edit to add: I've just worked out if you click on the picture it goes to a new page where it's enlarged and looks okay =D

Mini Challenge

Princess Bookie has some contests still running so check her blog out (the link is at the bottom).

Name 8 of your favourite things:
Do people count as things? I'm going to say no.
1. Chocolate (Seriously, it's an essential part of my day)
2. Books (you know you love them =))
3. Laptop (so I can talk to all my friends... and blog of course)
4. Mobile Phone (to talk to people) -haha I read that and all I've done is describe the use of a mobile-
5. Ooh this is getting difficult. A kettle! How else could I make a cup of tea?
6. Candles (I may be a bit of a pyromaniac. What can I say in my defence? I love fire. There's something beautiful about it. As well as its raging destructive side)
7. The toilet. I'm not joking. Imagine having to go in a hole outside. And I need to go which is why the idea came to me =D
8. Last but not least, a camera. So I can record all the great moments I've had with people.

Here is a link to the mini challenge:

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Finished

Okay I've finished Dewey's read-a-thon! Yay! In my tiredness I found it extrememly funny that the day that was picked lasted 25 hours (clocks go back). My mother had told me but I didn't pay much attention. And then I woke up (I set my alarm - if I was going to sleep it was going to be a monitored amount - enough to keep my sanity cos I get cranky) and I woke and looked at the clock. I turned on my laptop to say that I was coming back to read and noticed the time difference. I was so confused and a little freaked... and then it dawned on me. I've never been a morning person.

And whatever genius says you learn more in the mornings really isn't that smart.... because I can barely keep my eyes open in the morning, let alone focus on anything. Although I managed it =D

Out of 25 hours, I read for 17 hours (assuming my math is correct).

And now I want to say a big thank you to those supported me through the read-a-thon (even though I did fall asleep it was my own fault and I don't think it's bad reading time for my first go, I might make it the full 24 hours if the date for April fits my schedule). Oh my God, I've just realised I've been blogging since April. Sorry I'm rambling and I'm not even sleep deprived.

Anywaaaay, thank you to all the cheerleaders/fellow reader-a-thoners and just anyone who left a comment! You were all really supportive. I shall aim to finish the book I'm on over the course of the day (although I'm still only half way - although it's goood) . And I shall get my reviews to you of the books I've read steadily over the next few days - I'm still under contract to blog everyday till Christmas.

I didn't read all that much but I've never been a fast reader. Here is what I read:
Fallen by Lauren Kate - 452 pages
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker - 170 pages
Chrysalis The Awakening by M.L. Lacy (still reading) - On page 305

Total pages = 972 pages

Next time, whenever that might be, I shall aim for a thousand pages (which I can achieve if I make it the full 24 hours - I hope).

So I'm going to chill everyone. I'll end by saying:
Well Done to everyone else and Thank You =)

Read-a-Thon Update

I only have an hour of this left. So you'll get the last Read-a-thon Update in an hour.
I'm still reading Chrysalis The Awakening by M.L. Lacy.
I'm on Chapter 20.
And on page 259.
This is going to be a long read =D
There are 589 pages in total!
I think most people would have finished half an hour ago. But I started half an hour late. And as the clocks went back and I fell asleep, I thought I'd make up for lost time by still finishing at 13:30.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update

Who knew that if you started reading at 06:30 in the morning it'd be slow progress? =D
Currently Reading: Chrysalias The Awakening by M.L. Lacy
Chapter: 10
Page: 114

General Thoughts so far:
This book is actually really intriguing. I'm really getting in to it now I've read past the first chapter.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update

I crashed (as in fell/went to sleep).
So that's a good 7 hour slot gone.
I went to sleep at midnight. And did you know the clocks go back an hour? I've just realised that makes the time 06:30.
24- 06:30 =17.30 hours.
I might be able to managed 17 and a half hours. So it would have been a 25 hour read-a-hon if I finished at the exact same starting time (which I'm still planning to do given my seeping).
Hold on, my maths is shaky in the morning. Let me work this out.
13:30 till midnight (minus 30 mins for pasta cooking) = 10 hours
If I read from 06:30 till 13:30, that = 7 hours
Total, if I manage it = 17 hours (because of clock changing - they moved back an hour)

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Finished Book Update

I've just finished Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker.
General Impression:
There is a lot I liked about this book but I had a few issues with it.

I'm started to feel really quite tired and my concentration is waning.
I'm going to start reading Chrysalis The Awakening by M.L. Lacy.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon 9 Hour Update

I'm starting to get a little tired.
Currently reading: Dancing with Ana
Chapter: 9
Page: 119

General view at the moment:

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Finished Book Update

I've just finished Fallen.
General Impression:
Wow! I loved it. How could they leave me with that ending? I need the next book Torment! NOW!

Okay, next book:
Dancing With Ana by Nicole Barker

Dewey's Read-a-Thon 6 Hour Update

Took half an hour break at the beginning of this to eat dinner.
Still reading: Fallen
On page: 396 (I'm a slow reader =D)
Currently: Hooked on the book. And freaked out cos I'm home alone tonight!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon 3 Hour Update

I'm reading (at a slow pace) Fallen by Lauren Kate.
Im on chapter 10, page 208. I'm also trying to cook pasta whilst reading (very difficult). Things should speed up once I've cooked the pasta.

Fallen so far:

Dewey's Read-a-thon Begins

I'm going to push publish post at exactly 13:30 (on my laptop). That means I start exactly 30 mins late and I shall finish 30 mins late (if I make it, it is my first time). Although I have been known to stay up all night reading. From my last post, most people picked my starting book as Fallen by Lauren Kate. So that shall be my choice. Wish me luck. I shall update either every three hours or as I finish a book - whichever is first. I shall also only do mini-reviews (general impression of a book in a few sentences). But I shall post a full review at a later date. Let the games begin!

Friday, 23 October 2009

Yay - It. Is. Done.

Today was an organisational day for me (as I said in my last post). I've just spent a long time updating all of my Goodreads. I shall have to do Libraything another time. But for now I'm going to celebrate the updating of my Goodreads by sleeping. Goodnight x

General Stuff

So today is my organisation day. I caught up with my reader and I've updated my reviews (by this I mean the link on the side). It links to a page where all of my previous reviews are listed in alphabetical order by surname and links to each review can be found.

Seeing as I'm doing the read-a-thon tomorrow I decided not to read at all today. And just to reiterate I will be 30 mins late for the read-a-thon tomorrow (as I finish an event at 13:00 which is the start of the read-a-thon). I will do a post tomorrow to let you know when I'm about to start reading and what I'm about to start reading.

I've already said that I'll be attempting to read as much of my TBR pile tomorrow as possible (the ones I have for review). So I thought I'd let you know what is in my TBR pile:

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Wasp-Waisted by David Barrie
Hannibal's Elephant Girl by Ariion Kathleen Brindley
Dancing with Ana by Nicole Barker
Chrysalis The Awakening by M.L. Lacy
Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler
Fallen by Lauren Kate

So what do you recommend I read first?

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Review: The Dresskeeper

I read this book a few days ago and it's taken me a while to get the review up (through sheer tiredness and bone-idleness). But I did actually read The Dresskeeper by Mary Naylus fairly quickly. Here is the blurb:

Have you ever pretended to be someone else?

Picky Robson thought things couldn't get any worse. Her life is a boy-free zone, she's being bullied at school, then mum announces she has to look after gran every weekend for the foreseeable future. One night, unknowingly tempting fate, Picky slips into a flouncy old dress from the depths of an ancient chest and finds herself back in 17th Century London. But she is not alone. A weirdo in a wig is trying to kill her - mistaking her for a girl called Amelia.

Who is Amelia? Can Picky change the past by exposing the murderer? And will she make it back alive?

The main character in this book is Picky Robson. Picky and I had our moments. I didn't like how she kept referring to herself as a hefty because she was size fourteen. But I did find it funny when she referred to the bitchy skinny girls at school (you know every school has the uber-bitchy clique of skinny girls) as not hefty. They are also called The Demon Worshippers. Here is one of the quotes I loved: "FYI: a hefty is a girl who weighs more than an emaciated five-year old - which means most of the class, with the exception of The Demon Worshippers."

Picky is a funny character and I loved her teenage attitude. There are a lot of quotes I want to pull out of this book because they're just really humorous. But I shall settle with one. I thought the ending was both sad and happy. I can't say why as I don't intend to spoil the book.

The plot in itself was really interesting. I was hooked and was willing Picky to get back to her present day life everytime she went in to 17th Century London. However, the premise of this book was really interesting and I don't think I've ever read a book that was at all similar to this.

This book scores high marks for its ability to keep me reading. I read it in the space of one night. It was quite a quick read. Or maybe the time flew by. Either way, it was hard to put down and I wanted to know what would happen next.

Plot - 9/10 (Very original)
Hookability (abiliy to keep you reading) - 9/10
Characters - 7/10 (I could have done with more information about Luce and Edwina).

Total - 25/30

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Call for Experienced Read-a-Thon Readers?

This post is just to ask anyone who has done read-a-thon before for some tips. How do you stay up all night? Or avoid getting bored? I'd just like general tips =)

Thank you for all your help! Goodnight x

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Dewey's Read-a-Thon

Okay, if you remember me saying yesterday that I'd post a review (it was all an illusion). But I do have some exciting news! As you may have guessed from the title, I've decided to participate in Dewey's Read-a-Thon October 2009! This will be my first ever readathon.

So I have challenged myself to read all of the books that I have for review (it will speed up the reviewing process). And if I finish that then I'll move on to books that I have and just need/want to read in general!

So who else is participating? I originally thought I couldn't because I was going to a sleepover. But it's been postponed till the weekend afterwards. Happy reading =D

Monday, 19 October 2009

New Update

Apologies for the lack of a real post today. Although I'm hoping my explanation as to why I have no post will suffice as a post. This is where it all began...

I woke up this morning knowing that I had to leave earlier than usual (my lift in to school was ill leaving me to get the train). Then I realised I had left my make-up in my dad's car. Tragedy as my dad already gone. So I had to go natural today. Not a good luck for me. But moving on...

I made it through the day (losing my PE kit for several hours at one point). And then I finally made it to my after school meeting. During the middle of this meeting my mother rang me up and asked if I could work at 4:30. So I left the meeting (at the end) in a made dash and managed to get to work in time. Now, as it happens, I really like my work. But today the washing up machine broke. Everything had to be done by HAND.

It's not this that I mind so much, but the fact that there are a lot of plates in a food place on a uni campus. I have never polished so much cutlery in my life. I counted ten big containers of it. So I ended up staying half an hour later. Although I consider this an achievement given the amount we had. So eventually I made it home. After debating whether or not to read or do homework, I text my friend who assured me there is no homework. So I read and finished a book I was currently reading.

I planned to write a review of it tonight but I fell asleep (I'm quite tired). So the review will have to wait till tomorrow afternoon/evening. Thank you for your patience. I would have left this post tonight but I told myself I will post everyday and I seem to be sticking by it. Happy reading everyone =D. And good night x

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Review: Wicked Dead Lurker

I borrowed this from my library because it's approaching Halloween and I wanted something that would scare me. I love being scared =D
And this cover was really attractive. Wicked Dead Lurker is by Stefan Petrucha and Thomas Pendleton. Here is the blurb:

Four ghost girls.
A nightly ritual.
When their precious bones are rolled, the ghosts tell of deaths so horrifying even the rats in the orphanage walls cringe.

Tonight's Tale:
Seventeen-year-old Mandy has everything: popular friends; a hot boyfriend; plans for college, travel, the future. But after classmate Nicki is gruesomely murdered, Mandy is shaken to her core. Soon she's jumping at shadows and having nightmares of Nicki's killer - the Witchman. Mandy tells herself she's just imagining things - but nothing in her imagination prepares her for the terror that's about to attack.

It is actually scarier than it sounds. Although I didn't think the nickname Witchman was particularly scary. Although the description of him was. I also like reading books I've never heard of before (and that many other haven't) and reviewing them. This is mainly because I think there are so many great authors out there who don't get mentioned.

The plot starts off with the death of a girl called Nicki. The main character in this story is Mandy. She is the one who feels upset about the death of a fellow classmate (along with other people of course). She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and starts talking to a stranger online called Kyle. Mandy isn't stupid and after the murder of her friend, she asks Kyle to send her a picture with a very precise position. Kyle complies and everything seems normal. But then strange things start happening, she gets a text at Nicki's candlelight vigil saying "hahahaha" but she hasn't given her number out to anyone new recently. There is also no number attached so she assumes that her ex has got someone smarter to do it for him. The picture Kyle sends seems as though it's changing, but it's a jpeg file. I guessed who was behind the murder easily but I didn't know what would happen and what did happen really shocked me.

This book is quite a quick read (you could read it in a sitting) but I read it over two days. Unfortunately this will be quite a short review as I think I will ruin it if I reveal anymore.

Plot - 9/10 (I'm a sucker for horror. It loses a mark for being unrealistic -but I can't say how- ).
Characters - 8/10 (I got confused at certain parts at the start.)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading) - 9/10 (It was quick and I wanted to know what would happen).

Total - 26/30

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Sing-a-Long Saturday

Before I continue with this post, I'm just going to let you know that there will be a review up tomorrow morning.I have a few minutes to post this so it's a post everyday or else...

Here is today's classic song:

Can you guess what film this song is from?

Friday, 16 October 2009

Feature Friday

Okay, it's time for some shameless advertising. I'm warning you now so that if you want to skip this post, feel free. Oh, I'm not being paid to advertise, it's just something I wanted to share for anyone who is interested. I have two features for today.

1. Swagbucks
I've had Swagbucks for about a month now. I've stolen this from the Swagbucks FAQ.

What is ( is an online portal dedicated to helping you earn Swag Bucks, digital dollars that can be redeemed for exclusive prizes.

How does it work? works just like any other search engine, but with you are rewarded for searching the web. Every time you search with , you have a chance to earn from 1 to 5 Swag Bucks (on Fridays, you can win as many as 100 Swag Bucks in one search!). These Swag Bucks can be used to redeem thousands of prizes from our Swag Store. There are many other ways to win Swag Bucks as well - just visit our Winning Tips page to learn how.

Who is eligible to use it?
Any resident of the US, the UK, or Canada (except for residents of Quebec) above the age of 13 is eligible to redeem prizes from .

And here is a link if you want to take a look:
Search & Win

I've not had any problems with Swagbucks, but I admit it can be slow to actually earn Swagbucks. On to feature number two...

2. Lockerz
This is also stolen from the FAQ part of Lockerz.

What is Lockerz?
Lockerz is an invitation-only website created to connect members through commerce, content and community. Watch exclusive video, discover new music, play games, connect with friends, and get rewarded for it. The more often you visit, the more opportunities you have to earn PTZ (or “Pointz”), Lockerz’ own form of currency. Lockerz was founded in March, 2009.

What types of products can be purchased at Lockerz?
Members will be able to purchase a wide range of products from apparel, accessories, electronics, games, sports equipment and other products from hundreds of well known brands. Members will also be able to purchase digital assets such as music, videos, art, and decals.

Will Lockerz ship internationally?
Once Lockerz begins selling products this fall, we will ship to many countries outside the US (check back at launch time for a complete list).

I haven't decided which is my favourite out of Swagbucks and Lockerz. In order to use Lockerz you need to be invited. So if anyone does want to be invited, just ask me, or send me an email.

And if anyone has any questions feel free to post or email.

And that's it for today's shameless advertising.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Teaser Thursday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

I'm late so I've made it Teaser Thursday for this week (I have trouble sticking to memes).

Here are the rules:
-Grab your current read.
-Let the book fall open to a random page.
-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
-Please avoid spoilers!

Todays teaser comes from page 5 of Witch High which is by various authors:

J. Rutherford Wisenhauer the Third comes into the cafeteria wearing his father's black robes, points a finger at June Bauer, and immediately she's burning. Alive. A couple of other kids use water spells to put her out, but when they do, he shoots flames at them, and they go down.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

WoW is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine.

I'm going to do three books this week (there are too many good books)!

Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix:

I have to tell you my secret. I can't go on...without revealing it. I had a pretty good run, hiding from everyone for five years. For five years I was safe. But now...

It was a talent that came out of nowhere. One day Lindsay Scott was on the top of the world, the star of a hit TV show. The next day her fame had turned into torture. Every time anyone said anything about her, she heard it. And everyone was talking about Lindsay: fans, friends, enemies, enemies who pretended to be friends....

Lindsay had what looked like a nervous breakdown and vanished from the public eye. But now she's sixteen and back in the news: A tabloid newspaper claims that Lindsay is being held hostage by her father.

The truth? Lindsay has been hiding out in a small Illinois town, living in a house that somehow provides relief from the stream of voices in her head. But when two local teenagers try to "rescue" Lindsay by kidnapping her, Lindsay is forced to confront everything she's hiding from. And that's when she discovers there may be others who share her strange power. Lindsay is desperate to learn more, but what is she willing to risk to find the truth?

Witch and Wizard by James Patterson:

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they'd never dreamed of. Can this newly minted witch and wizard master their skills in time to save themselves, their parents--and maybe the world?

The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais:

An adorable, completely original YA voice.

Lotus Lowenstein's life is merde. She dreams of moving to Paris and becoming an existentialist. Yet here she is trapped in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with a New-Agey mom, an out-of-work dad, and a chess champion brother who dreams of being a rock star. Merci à Dieu for Lotus’s best friend, Joni, who loves French culture enough to cofound their high school’s first French Club with Lotus.

At the first meeting, the cutest boy in the world walks in. His name is Sean, and he too loves French culture and worships Jean-Paul Sartre. At first, Lotus thinks Sean is the best thing to happen to her in years. He’s smart, cultured, and adorable. Unfortunately, though, Joni feels the same way. And having an existentialist view of love, Sean sees nothing wrong with enjoying both girls’ affections. Things come to a head when all three depart for Montreal with their teacher, Ms. G, on the French Club’s first official field trip. Will Sean choose Joni over Lotus? And will Lotus and Joni’s friendship ever recover?

So what is everyone else waiting for?

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Review: David Inside Out

I read "David Inside Out" by Lee Bantle last night and this morning (I'm thinking that it was because it's quite a short book). Here is the blurb:

My mom can be confusing without even trying. If I tell her I have to do something because everyone is doing it, she says, just be yourself. She says people respect that. But what if you send fan mail to romance writers? And get teary-eyed at chick flicks? What if you still get spooked during thunderstorms? These are not things you want to share with others. Being yourself might make people reject you. People you desperately care about. Being yourself only works if you're basically cool. Which I'm not.

There's another problem with Mom's advice. How can you be yourself if you don't know who that is?

Before I start, I just want to say that I don't really understand this cover. I get that it's two guys but I don't understand who they are, where they are and what they're doing? I originally got halfway through this book but got sidetracked (too much work at the time). On to the review...

The protagonist of this book is David. He is the one who is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. I like how David's confusion is clearly shown in this book. He fears becoming gay and outright like his best friend Eddie. Eddie has recently admitted he is gay and even tried to start an alliance at school. David tries to do a lot of thingsCheck Spelling to suppress his sexual preference/sexual urges. He tries sticking with a girlfriend, looking at Playboy, distancing himself from Eddie and snapping a rubber band on his wrist when he has "gay" thoughts.

There are a few other characters who are of great importance to the story. Kick, David's girlfriend, is one such character. Kick wonders why David is so slow and blames herself. She is also the first person David admits he's gay too. It's hard on Kick and she takes a while to accept it. At one point she even seems to try to go on as normal with David.

Eddie is the character who becomes openly gay. He tries to start an alliance and writes to romance writers. David doesn't want to remain friends with him. Another main character is Sean. Sean sparks David's interest and it seems Sean may have feelings of his own. But it's never simple and with Sean having a girlfriend, David doesn't know what to do.

The last character I wish to mention is David's mom. She seems to be able to understand when there is something wrong with David and is generally a caring character. I really liked her and how accepting she is. The characters in general were quite well crafted. I would have liked the book to be a bit longer though so I could get to know the characters more.

This book is really short and easily kept me reading. The story was quite fast paced so I didn't have to wait around for something to happen. The only thing is, I didn't like that the story was over so soon after starting it. But that's my issue with short stories. Sometimes it works for me, sometimes it doesn't.

The plot is really good. I think it portrayed a teenager struggling to come to terms with his sexuality quite well. I also liked the complication between Sean and David, and David and Eddie. The relationships made the book really interesting and I wanted to know what would happen in the end with David.

Overall, it is a very good but short read. However, I think it would be very useful and comforting for young men who aren't so certain about their own sexuality. But the book is more than that, it is also a great read for anyone. I'll warn you now, this book does have some sexual and graphic scenes. Nothing too awful but it's better you know now and make your choice.

Characters: 7/10 (more development would have been better)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 9/10
Plot: 10/10

Total: 26/30

Monday, 12 October 2009

Review: Tender Morsels

I have been reading, and enjoying, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. Here is the blurb:

"You are pure-hearted and lovely, and you have never done a moment's wrong. But you are a living creaure, born to make a real life, however it cracks your heart."

Liga raises her two daughters in the safe haven of an alternative reality, a personal heaven granted by magic as a refuge from her earthly suffering.

But the real world cannot be denied for ever and when the barrier between the two worlds begins to break down, Liga's fiery daughter, Urdda, steps across it...

This unforgettable novel is sure to shock and amaze. Constantly shifting from beauty to horror, darkness to light, Tender Morsels will take you to the very edge.

I really haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. I enjoy long reads if it's a good story and I thought this book was brilliant. Before I start gushing, I'd better start reviewing.

The characters in this book are well crafted. Although, it has to be said, there are a lot of characters. And at certain points I had to stop to remember who they were. I liked the style they were presented in though. You were clearly given a main character and other characters had their own section. At the start they all seem completely unrelated but I like the way their paths intertwined.

Liga is the main character. The story starts when she is a young girl. She knows nothing but work and pain. Her one chance of joy is taken away by her father. This is what starts Liga off on her journey. I don't want to give anything away but I'll tell you that Liga has two daughters, Urrda and Branza. Both daughters are unique and bring Liga joy. They live with Liga in a safe haven where no harm should be able to befall them.

Urrda is the loud one whilst Branza is the quiet one. The sisters are both very different but at the same time very close. Tender Morsels is a darker retelling of Snow White and Red Rose. Branza is Snow White whilst Urrda is Snow White. Urrda longs to explore the haven whilst Branza is content to stay at home or in the nearby forest with the animals (namely a bear and later a wolf). There are too many charaters for me to mention them all but they all fit together nicely.

This book kept me reading. The only reason I took a while to read it was because, a, it's long and b, I had to schedule it between homework and revision. But even so, I think I read it at quite a fast rate. I was sitting at school today thinking "I'm going to read Tender Morsels when I get home". As long as you follow what's going on, Tender Morsels is a book that keeps you reading.

The plot itself is ingenious. It is a very well thought out story, and having not heard Red Rose and Snow White before, I loved it. I think the reason I loved this book so much is because it was long. I could get in to the story for a lengthy amount of time. I also loved how extremely cleverly it was plotted (it was detailed for everything to fit together).

I will add a word of warning though. The book jacket says "this book is not suitable for younger readers". I think it depends on your level of maturity rather than your age. But I will warn you about some of the material it contains so you can decide for yourself: incest and gang rape. It's not too graphic and I prefer a book with realistic material, life isn't always fun or right, and the author gets this across.

The ending can be either sad or happy, depending on your own opinion. It seems free to interpretation. I personally think it's happy for some of the cahracters and sad for others. You'll have to read the book to make up your own mind.

Characters: 9/10 (a little too many complicated names but I got there in the end)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 10/10
Plot: 10/10 (Loved It)

Total: 29/30

Poll Results

I understand that you can still vote here on whether or not you want me to show my full post on my blog or a shortened version, but the overwhelming majority seems to be to see my posts in full. So I have changed my settings :)

If, miraculously, the results change so that the other option is the overwhelming majority, I will change my feed, again.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

In The Post

Pretty much exactly the same as IMM which was started by Kristi at the Story Siren who was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

I am so tired, and yet I've done nothing today. Then again it's late and... I'm rambling.

I didn't receive any books for this review.
Or buy any.
But I did go to the library! Yay =)

Here is what I got from the library:
Witch High which is edited by Denise Little
Bad Blood by Rhiannon Lassiter
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve (I read a good review of this somewhere)
Wicked Dead Lurker by Stefan Petrucha and Thomas Pendleton
The Outlaw Varjak Paw by SF Said (I have seen a poster of this for years so I finally decided to read it)

Sorry for the lack of descriptions and pictures.

Yawn. I'm off to bed now. Goodnight everyone :)

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Sing-a-Long Saturday

I have gotten too close to not posting today. I'm going to have to start planning posts. For today, I thought I'd do something I like to call Sing-a-Long Saturday. I pick out an old classic song from a Disney or children's film just for old times sake. And you can feel free to sing-a-long or reminisce about watching Disney films when you were younger. Here is today's:

Oh and I'll leave you to guess to the title of the film :)
This was one of my favourite films as a child.

Friday, 9 October 2009

National Poetry Day

I'm not sure if National Poetry Day is a UK or national thing. The word national is making me think it's the latter but you can never be too sure. For those of you who don't know, National Poetry Day was the 08th October, yesterday. The theme was heroes/heroines. So I thought I'd share a poem with you that I made up when I was thirteen (so don't judge it too harshly). It was a poem made for remembrance day and was meant to honour those who had given their lives in wars and remind people to buy a poppy. These people are heroes so it does tie in. Here it is:

A poppy is a symbol of hope against fear,
A poppy reminds us of how we lost family close and near,
A poppy resembles the lies we were told,
Since before our life they will grow till we're old.

In the war not a day went by where someone didn't feel pain,
A poppy was the light which led us through the rain,
The only thing that would grown in no-mans land,
The dead would fall in to its petal hand.

But all guns went silent at 11 o'clock on the 11th November,
This is why every year we ask you to remember,
All those people who gave their lives,
The symbol of a poppy, so forever and for always, buy one this time.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Discussion Thursday

Or I haven't finished a book yet so I'm thinking on the spot.

But I did a discussion post once a while ago and it was pretty fun so I thought I'd try another one to see how successful it is. I'm also hoping that I haven't stolen someones meme by accident.

So today's discussion point is: Book Covers and Book Titles

How much does a book cover affect the likelihood of you picking up a book?
I judge a book a lot by its cover. Yeah I know it's bad. But if a cover has something original and interesting I'll pick it up and wonder what it's about. If it's unoriginal, like a flower, I won't pick up the book. The only exceptions to this are if another blogger has blogged about/recommended a book. But I generally get my initial impression about a book from its cover. It's the first thing I see.

Question number two, rather unoriginally named:
How much does a book title affect the likelihood of you picking up a book?
Book titles don't have a large significance to me. If a book has a really cool name, I think cool. But I wouldn't turn down a book because of a name, unless it was something really awful like "hfkahfifhafkajhf". And even then I'd be kind of intrigued. Sometimes an interesting title will stand out to me and I'll pick up a book to see what it's about, but it's no guarantee that I'll even finish reading the blurb.

So what do YOU think?
I'm also going to apologise in advance. I'm too tired to spell check. I've just worked out that blogger has a spell check. Wow. Apparently, unoriginally isn't a word. Is spellchecking lying?

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Waiting on Wednesday

I haven't done this for a long time so I'll choose two books today :)

WoW is hosted by the wonderful Jill of Breaking the Spine.

My first book is Firespell by Chloe Neill.
Here is the blurb:

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…

Firespell is published January 5, 2010.

My second book is Freaksville by Kitty Keswick.

Here is the blurb:

High school is hard enough when you’re normal. There’s peer pressure, book reports, the in crowd and the enormous zit that has a life of its own. Having a family whose skeletons in the closet lean toward the paranormal is not a topper on anyone’s list. Sophomore Kasey Maxwell is busy juggling the typical teen angst. Add visions, ghosts and hairy four-legged monsters into the mix and you get FREAKSVILLE. It’s a wonder Kasey has survived.

Every woman in the Maxwell family has the gift of sight. A talent sixteen-year-old Kasey would gladly give up. All she wants is a normal life. Shopping and talking about boys with her best friend and long-time sidekick Gillie Godshall consume her days. Until Kasey has a vision about Josh Johnstone, the foreign exchange student from England. The vision leads her into new waters, a lead in a play, a haunted theater…and into the arms of the Josh. Yet, both Kasey and Josh have secrets lurking in dark corners. Can Kasey’s new romance survive FREAKSVILLE?

Freaksville is published on 8th January 2010.

So what is everyone else looking forward to?

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Thanks to MizB for this wicked bookish meme.

Here are the rules:
-Grab your current read.
-Let the book fall open to a random page.
-Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
-You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
-Please avoid spoilers!

Today's teaser comes from page 275 of Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan:
“That's right,” said the leddy. “They make right what is done wrong toords the powers that be. I am thinking some kind of sacrifice is in order here. And as this is all bear-related, it stands to reason a bear be slain, and the right words said, and the right parts consumed and offered up.”

What is everyone else reading?

Monday, 5 October 2009

It's Down to You...

So after a request about my RSS feed, I decided to put the matter to you.

Diane from The Book Resort has tagged me :D

The wonderful Diane at the super-awesome blog "The Book Resort" has tagged me and asked me to list 5 book related items and 5 non-book related items on my desk.

I don't have my own desk, my room is too small have one, but I'm sitting at a table downstairs so I'll use that :D

Book Related:

1. "Selina Penaluna" by Jan Page - I always have to have a book next to me if I'm reviewing it
2. "The Herschel Consortium Student Planner 2009-2010" - I'm switching between doing homework and blogging and this has all my homework in it
3. "Lord of the Flies Programme" - I had to read this book for English last year and my mum and dad took me out to see it performed at the theatre on Saturday night. It was really good. And I loved the guy who played Ralph - Alexander Moschos
4. "OCR Biology AS book" - I have finished my biology homework :D
5. "Tender Morsels" by Margo Lanagan - I am starting this book next and it looks so good that I want to start it as soon as I've finished this post (but I must do my math homework first)

Non-Book Related:

1. Oasis Pen - as in the people with the advert of the giant rubber duck and the great little motto "for people who don't like water"
2. Mobile Phone - it's never usually far from me (except when I lose it)
3. Big Eeyore Mug - I couldn't live without tea!
4. Tigger Glass - I had some orange juice and the glass was an Xmas pressie! And it's a really nice glass.
5. A bowl (empty) - made from wood and something else. It was a present for my mum brought back from Africa by my sister. My sister got me bookends :D

And now I shall tag some other wonderful people:
Jo from Ink and Paper
Luisa Plaja from Chicklish
Sophie from So Many Books, So Little Time
Jenny from Wondrous Reads
Amy from Addicted to Books
Senfaye from A Maze of Books

And here's a youtube video with a really catchy song (it's a fan video of Harry Potter and I'm addicted to it):

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Review: Selina Penaluna

As promised, here is my review!
Selina Penaluna is written by Jan Page and has one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen. Here is the blurb:

Dropped as a baby into a deep pool on the Cornish shore, Selina Penaluna emerges a different child - a mermaid changeling - and is forever drawn to the sea. Abandoned by her mother, neglected and abused by her father, she desperately wants to escape her lonely life.

Ellen and Jack are twins, evacuated from East London to Cornwall at the start of the war. The family that takes them in are well - off and a little stuffy. Ellen relishes this opportunity to better herself, but Jack finds his new life stifling and seeks freedom in the arms of Selina, the mysterious fisherman's daughter whose wild beauty turns every man's head.

Selina's siren song has Jack captivated - but leaves his sister cold with jealousy. Can the young lovers find solace and build a new life together? And how will Ellen deal with being left behind?

The main three characters in this book are; Selina, Jack and Ellen. Selina was a pretty interesting character. She was painted as this beautiful character who enchanted those around her (very much like a mermaid). However, she had her faults like everyone else. Selina hid the troubles in her life, namely her father abusing her, and lived a dismal life. If it weren't for her hope that she would turn in to a "merrymaid" (the Cornish name for mermaid) and the attention she got from the guys, I dread to think of what would have happened to her.

Jack is Ellen's twin. He falls in love with Selina and tries to save her from the Cornish life she is living. He neglects Ellen and defies the Rosewarne's wishes that he look for someone who is of a higher class. But Jack follows his heart and is enchanted with Selina.

Ellen, who is nicknamed "Nellie" by Jack, is excited to go to Cornwall. Jack and Ellen stay with the Rosewarne's. Ellen loves staying with the Rosewarne's but Jack sees them as substitutes for their real parents. Ellen wants to stay friends with Jack but feels that Selina is stealing him away. I feel quite sorry for Ellen. All she wants is Jack and to be loved by the Rosewarne family. She tries so hard to please those around her and gets litle in return.

The book switches between the POV of these three characters. Unfortunately, the chapters don't state which character's POV it is in so you have to work it out for yourself. I found this a tad irritating, especially at the beginning when I wasn't really familiar with any of the characters. This book also switches between past and present. I think this is one of the reasons it took me so long to read this book. i don't like having to work when I read a book, it is meant to be relaxing.

The plot of this book was actually quite good. I genuinely wanted to know what would happen between Selina and Jack. Selina seemed drawn to the sea whilst Jack wanted to go back to London. The main plot of this book though is a mystery. But I can't say anymore without revealing a main part of the story. For those of you who want to know, READ NOW: Selina and Jack go missing. It is assumed that Selina and Jack have drowned on a stormy night when they tried to go out on the boat. There is a search for the bodies. I refuse to reveal anymore. SPOILER OVER.

I also really enjoyed the ending of this book because it sort of confirmed what I thought. Although I got one part totally wrong. You'll have to read the book to find out if you can work out what happened.

This book took me a couple of months to read. I must confess that I was trying to schedule reading in between working and the first few weeks of sixth form (who knew AS level was so hard). But at the same time, there was something too easy about putting this book down. Everytime I picked it up I grew interested. And yet I could easily forget about it.

This book focuses a lot on imagery. If you like descriptions of the location then this would interest you. But the story isn't that the fast. At the start I wasn't too keen on the long-winded descriptions. However, at the end I found myself picturing everything in my mind. I could see it as a film and how it would be played out.

Characters: 9/10 - the characters were really intriguing and I like the way they were all connected
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 4/10 - some interesting parts but two months is a long time
Plot: 7/10 - pretty good plot but a litle slow

Overall: 20/30

I've done it...

I have basically been reading one book over the entire summer... and I've finished it this morning! So, today, I shall have a review up. And as my time management recently has been quite awful, I give anyone who reads this post, permission to spam me if I don't get the review up today! And by today, I mean today in UK terms. I am also going to make sure that I write everyday on this blog! And here's how...

You may remember that people before have done memes where they have to blog everyday for a certain month. Well I'm going to do that, but starting on the 04th of October and lasting until December 25th. That's quite ambitious for me! So here goes...

I, Katie Pinn, hereby agree to post everyday, starting from the 04th October and lasting until the 25th December, on my blog, Another Book Blog-Whore.

Failure to comply with said agreements may result in mass spamming.

And if I knew how to insert the fancy signatures, I would.

On another note, I realise that there are quite a few blog awards I haven't posted. Okay, so it goes back to months of not posting awards. So if you do remember if you've given me an award and you know I haven't posted it, can you just drop me an email reminding me or comment. Thank you! Now off to do some biology homework. I will be back with the review afterwards...

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Update: My Life

I think most of you know that I had my first summer job this summer. It was fun but, alas, today is my last day working. I start school again tomorrow so I will be back to a normal routine.

And on the subject of school, I got my GCSE results on the 25th and have enrolled at the sixth form at my school. Thanks for all your patience this summer over my lack of posts.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Yes, yes, yes and... YES!!

This is just a random happy post from me. I've been struggling to get below the 1000+ part on subscriptions for a while now. But today I finally achieved it. Okay, okay, I may have cheated a little. But I shall be reading most blogs posts that are within a week. For a few blogs, I may be reading all of your posts that I've missed out on. Sorry it's taken so long for me to get in order. Happy reading everyone.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

An Interesting New Book...

I can't believe it. I've actually had my work accepted. This is my new book "Differentiate" which is due to be published by Bloomsbury. My pen name is Rosie J. Cooper.

Okay, it's a joke. I got the idea from this post at The Zen Leaf. Here is what you have to do to create your own debut novel:



1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click
The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or click
The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click
Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Photoshop, Picnik, or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.

5 – Post it to your site along with this text.
(I think I did a great job with the title and author placement, don't you? Helps that I got a perfect picture for it. This was really easy to put together on Picnik, and the flickrcc website where you chose your picture links right to it.)

Review: The A-List: Malibu Sun

I picked up "The A-list: Malibu Sun" by Zoey Dean as I thought it would make a fun, light summer read. I wasn't disappointed. So what is it about? Here's the blurb:

Anna Percy is film-star gorgeous. Which is just as well, because she's new to Beverly Hils, and being beautiful in LA is like Manolo Blahnik heels - simply a must...

Just when Anna thought life in LA couldn't get crazier she finds herself working on the hottest new TV show in town. Fortunately, partying with the cast and crew and hanging out at the beachside set is all part of the deal. Now, if she could only shake off the Beverly Hills High witches... But there's no way Cammie is letting Anna off the hook - Little Miss East-Coast Perfection won't be stealing the show this time...

When I picked this book up, I never realised it was part of a series. I don't like reading a series in a different order. However, my bookshop doesn't have the other books in the series so this'll probably be the only one I read in the series anyway. For those in the US, Malibu Sun is called Blonde Ambition in the US. I couldn't find a decent picture for the UK version so I used the US cover. On to the actual book review...

I really enjoyed this book. I tend to go mad on books and then have a break. And then go mad on books again etc. Every so often, I want a book which is easy to read and fun. Most importantly, the book matter isn't deep so my brain isn't left reeling and whirring whilst I ask myself questions about the book.
The main two characters are Anna and Cammie. The book changes point of view at certain points, from Anna to Cammie and vice-versa. Anna and Cammie hate each other, which makes the shift in point of view even more interesting. Anna is meant to be the nicer of the two but I thought that she seemed a bit flirtatious for my liking. Cammie is meant to be the ice queen but as the book explained, there is a little more depth to her, although not as much as I would have liked. I want to know more about the characters and their history. Then again, I am to blame for not starting at the beginning of the series. I both love and hate Anna and Cammie and find them interesting characters. It would have been fun to read the whole series.

I don't really remember a main plot. Anna and Cammie had their own individual problems. The only time they really had any connection was if they saw each other, through exboyfriends and current friends. Oh, and I forgot another connection. Anna's boss is Cammie's dad. This book kept me reading. Maybe it was because it was short. Maybe it was the setting. Or maybe it was because it's a fun read. I picked up several books I planned to read over the summer, this being one of them. It fit my criteria. There are some books you pick up because you want to learn more about certain situations e.g. homelessness, eating disorders, self-harm etc. "Malibu Sun" isn't this kind of book. I'll warn you now though: it does include some sex, nothing too graphic though.

I've already mentioned that I wasn't able to stop reading this book. In honesty, I should have had this review up a long time ago. But I half started this review and then decided to come back this afternoon. If you want a fun, light and enjoyable read, then you will probably enjoy this. I know you can't put an age rating on books but I felt like this was a teenage read.

Characters: 7/10 - It's a love/hate relationship.

Plot: 8/10 - I like the use of suplots.

Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 9/10 - Over too fast :(

Total: 24/30

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Guess Who's Back?

Yeah, me!
Okay, you know I had that plan for Wednesday. Well, I forgot I had already made plans. Things have been a little hectic recently. I'm proud I managed to work 10 days in a row and then had one day off. But a lot of the Italians at work have cancelled (fear over swine flu), so shift numbers have decreased and I'll be spending a lot more time at home. In other words, a lot more time blogging. I have several reviews to post and so many posts to catch up. Apologies if I haven't commented on your blog for aaaaaaaaaages. I'm lazy! But I will catch up. PROMISE. I have a plan. I shall post my reviews (schedule them), then catch up on blogs during the day and read at night. The perfect system. How has everyone been? Enjoying you holidays? I've missed reading all your blogs and comments.

Good luck to those who get their A level results on August 20th.
I'm so scared about August 27th - GCSE results. The wait is driving me insane!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Review: Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

I was sent "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great" by Emma from Don't Lose My Place when she held a trial giveaway. All you had to do was ask for the book and you would receive. I've had this book a while but picked it up randomly. Basically, the book I was reading has been left in the car and there was this lovely book waiting to be read in the meantime. I also fancied reading something by Judy Blume as I've heard a lot of good things about Forever but never read it. I'm so thankful to Emma for sending me this and am really glad I decided to read it today! Here is the blurb for "Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great":

Sheila can do no wrong. Sheila Tubman is not quite sure who she is. Sometimes she feels like confident, brilliant Sheila the Great and other times she's secret Sheila, who's afraid of spiders, the dark, swimming and, most of all, dogs. When her family decides to leave the city for a summer in the country, Sheila will have to suffer everything from long-eared dogs to swimming lessons to creepy spiders. That's enough to drive any city girl nuts! If she can survive the summer at all, Sheila may be forced to admit that she's no supergirl.

This was a nice light read. It was fun and only took me just over an hour to read. Sheila is the main character and suffers from a wide range of fears, not that she would admit it. She is afraid of lightning from thunderstorms hitting her, spiders, the dark, swimming and dogs. Sheila also has a sister, Libby, who is older and spends her time dancing around, singing and acting like a mature and bossy sister. Sheila often lies to avoid admitting her fears. However, this isn't the best tactic and often leaves Sheila in embarrasing situations. There are some morals to this story but they are fun e.g. it's better to admit a fear and face it than lie about it. Sheila's confrontations with her fears though were really funny! The way she refused to admit she was scared made for fun reading. She also met some friends when she is sent on holiday, by the names of Mouse and the Twins. I like Mouse as she is a genuinely nice person. The Twins were okay but I didn't feel I knew about them as much as Mouse. Then again, it is a short story and is definitely aimed at younger reads.

The plot is pretty simple and aims for fun reading. A main part of the plot is Sheila's fears but there is also a great deal more going on. Sheila's family move in to a country house in the summer and Sheila and Libby decide to attend the summer camp that's run nearby. They both gain new friends and there is a sleepover near the end which was my favourite part to read! The sleepover was just really funny and now I want to have a sleepover! Sleepover at mine: for those of you who live outside of the UK, get a plane, hot air balloon, rowing boat or your preferred method of travel!

This book scores high for hookability. It was over so quickly, about 70 minutes of my time! For those of you who want a short, fun and light read, this is the book for you. If you are looking for something that's a little older, you might not enjoy this. I'm not doing a rating for this book as the last time I did a rating for a book that was too young for me (and that I didn't like) I had to deduct marks. And I believe that if I was the right age group I might have given it more marks. So it's up to you decide. However, this is a fun and short read and is good if you want to escape some of those books which deal with heavy topics.

I've loosely laid it out in sections: characters, plot and then hookability.

P.S. Hookability is a book's ability to keep you hooked (reading). Yes, I did make up that word :)

Monday, 27 July 2009

Sharing the Blog Love

Hi everyone,
I've discovered a few new great blogs that I love and thought I'd highlight! I love their content and I think you should visit them. You know you want to!

First up is:
Between the Lines
This amazing blog is run by Prodhi who has recently interviewed me for her blog. We met at the Hollow ARC competition where we commented our asses off for the last few hours.

Second of all is:
One Book Away from Heaven
I met Patt at the Hollow ARC competition as well! It's a great social event! Patt runs a superb blog which I know I shall be catching up on! I love the content.

Third and final is:
From the Heart
I may be doing a blogger interview for this blog (I'll email you when I return from work Scarlett). But I also feel that I should mention a fantastic competition that is happening on Scarlett's blog! It's also open to everyone! Head on over and check out Scarlett's superb blog.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Just a quick update...

I've caught up on a few blogs but my reader is still above 1000. But I've been catching up on reading anyhow. I have made blog-related plans though. On Wednesday, I have an entire day off. Sreet Jazz is over for the summer so I don't have to get ready or do anything. I can spend a few hours catching up on blogger and then post a review. I don't like being disorganised. Then I shall continue reading. So Wednesday shall be a fun day for me. No work, just time to relax. I'm looking forward to Wednesday :D

I should come up with a snappy name for it:
Winding Down Wednesday
Wing-It Wednesday

Ahhh, the names are crap. If anyone who reads this can think of a better name, just comment.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Review: The Agency: A Spy in the House

You may have noticed that I haven't reviewed anything in a long time. I confess, I was in a reading slump. Thank you Y S Lee (the author) for getting me out of it. Here is a blurb of The Agency: A Spy in the House:

Mary Quinn leads a remarkable life. At twelve, an orphan and convicted, she was miraculously rescued from the gallows. Now, at seventeen, she has a new and astonishing chance: to work undercover for the Agency.

It is May 1858, and a foul-smelling heat wave paralyzes London. Mary enters a rich merchant's household to solve the mystery of his lost cargo ships. But as she soon learns, the house is full of deceptions, and people are not what they seem - including Mary herself.

The plot centres around Mary, an intelligent and adventurous girl. I can't read a book unless I like the main character. I should also mention that this book is set during the Victorian times. Mary is a Victorian tomboy. She grew up around boys before the tragic loss of her father. As mentioned in the blurb, she was saved from the gallows and has recently been enlisted at The Agency. Mary has her first task: to work undercover as a female's companion and gather information about the girl's father. After all, who would be concerned by a female?

I feel that sexism is portrayed in this book. Mary continues to break the inferior stereotype of women in this book that were common in the Victorian times. She's not uncivilised, she knows how to act properly in society and does so in her position at the house. But I love that there's this side to her that people are too narrow-minded to acknowledge. Another character, Angelica, is Mary's companion. Angelica comes off spiteful and nasty and a bit one-dimensional. However, as we learn more about her, there is clear character building. We are slowly introduced to her story and why she acts the way she does amidst Mary's quest to find out the truth. There is but one other character I want to introduce you to, Mr James Easton. He appears to be quite a minor character at the beginning but his importance in the novel becomes significant after a short while. I liked James because he is outspoken, charming and intelligent. He cares for his family and can be at times, a real gentleman.

The plot was interesting and the mystery surrounding the ships intrigued me. I love detective novels and the way you have to wait until the end to find out the truth. It's just one adventure. But this isn't a simple case of who-dunnit. The story twists and often leads to dead-ends whilst you are intrigued by sub-plots. This book got me out of my reading slump and I think this is a book to be read out over two days. I don't usually put reading estimations in as everyone is different. However, with detective-style books, I prefer to mull over the information at night and then find out the truth the next day.

Characters - 10/10 (breaks stereotypes)

Plot - 8/10

Hookability - 8/10

Total - 26/30

Just thought I'd add this is the first in what I believe to be a gripping trilogy.

Happy Birthday to Diane!!

Happy Birthday Diane!

You're an amazing person and like an older sister!

Go on over and wish her a happy birthday at The Book Resort :)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Want to win an ARC of The Hollow?

I thought you did!
For those of you who don't know, The Hollow is written by Jessica Verday. Here is the blurb:

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her -- one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

Sounds good, doesn't it? So here is how you can win:
If you head over to Lee Verday's blog, here, then you can enter to win an ARC of The Hollow. All you have to do is comment, and you can do it multiple times. And if you want to, you can say that I sent you to enter me for another competition that is happening on the blog e.g. Kate from Another Book Blog-Whore sent me. Good luck everyone!